Article

Principles for the wise use of computers by children. Ergonomics, 52(11), 1386-1401

Curtin University of Technology, Perth, WA, Australia.
Ergonomics (Impact Factor: 1.61). 11/2009; 52(11):1386-401. DOI: 10.1080/00140130903067789
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Computer use by children at home and school is now common in many countries. Child computer exposure varies with the type of computer technology available and the child's age, gender and social group. This paper reviews the current exposure data and the evidence for positive and negative effects of computer use by children. Potential positive effects of computer use by children include enhanced cognitive development and school achievement, reduced barriers to social interaction, enhanced fine motor skills and visual processing and effective rehabilitation. Potential negative effects include threats to child safety, inappropriate content, exposure to violence, bullying, Internet 'addiction', displacement of moderate/vigorous physical activity, exposure to junk food advertising, sleep displacement, vision problems and musculoskeletal problems. The case for child specific evidence-based guidelines for wise use of computers is presented based on children using computers differently to adults, being physically, cognitively and socially different to adults, being in a state of change and development and the potential to impact on later adult risk. Progress towards child-specific guidelines is reported. Finally, a set of guideline principles is presented as the basis for more detailed guidelines on the physical, cognitive and social impact of computer use by children. The principles cover computer literacy, technology safety, child safety and privacy and appropriate social, cognitive and physical development. The majority of children in affluent communities now have substantial exposure to computers. This is likely to have significant effects on child physical, cognitive and social development. Ergonomics can provide and promote guidelines for wise use of computers by children and by doing so promote the positive effects and reduce the negative effects of computer-child, and subsequent computer-adult, interaction.

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Available from: Leon Straker, Aug 20, 2015
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    • "Review of the child-specific principles produced in Straker et al. (Straker et al. 2009b) to present detailed guidelines for appropriate physical development of children using computers N/A The physical development guidelines produced are all based on the available evidence from the literature such as—children should take a break from computer tasks every 30 min., use active input devices whenever possible, be encouraged to move around and periodically alter their postures. Werth and Babski- Reeves (2012) Laptop, tablet Electrogoniometers were used to assess postures of wrist flexion/extension, wrist radial and ulnar deviation, neck flexion/extension on two different work surfaces 12 adults (mean age 23.25 years old) "
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    • "Similarly, case studies have been documented of AiEG (Nintendo Wii Remote) play by adults resulting in inflammation of tendon insertion and joints, termed 'wii-itis' (Bonis 2007; Nett, Collins, and Sperling 2008). To reduce risks associated with prolonged postures and repetitive actions, ergonomics literature and computer use guidelines and government codes have recommended postural variety, taking breaks and changing the activity after 30– 60 minutes (National Occupational Health and Safety Commission 1994; Straker et al. 2009; Ciccarelli et al. 2011). High accelerations and relative forces are known to compound the risk of repetitive overuse injuries from occupational and sports activities in adults (Marras and Schoenmarklin 1993; Schoenmarklin, Marras, and Leurgans 1994; Burkhart, Morgan, and Kibler 2000; Kibler and Safran 2000; Straker et al. 2004). "
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    • "Adolescents' musculoskeletal systems are still developing and they use ICT in different ways to adults [36] [37], so it is imperative that evidence specific to young people's use of ICT is generated. The formation of healthy habits surrounding ICT use is vital in adolescence, as these habits are likely to continue into adulthood [38]. "
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